What Is Rind On Bacon? (According To Experts)

Are you a bacon lover looking to switch things up?

Have you ever heard of rind on bacon?

This delicious and crispy outer skin of the hog is where bacon comes from, but it’s not commonly found in supermarkets in the USA.

However, it’s gaining popularity among foodies and those interested in cooking and where their food comes from.

In this article, we’ll explore what rind on bacon is, how to cook and prepare it, and where to find the best quality for your recipes.

Get ready to discover a new level of bacon deliciousness!

What Is Rind On Bacon?

Rind on bacon is simply bacon that still has the pork skin attached to the pork belly. This traditional method of making bacon has been around for centuries, but it’s not as common in modern times due to consumer preferences for rindless bacon.

The pork skin, or rind, adds an extra layer of flavor and texture to the bacon. It can be crispy and crunchy in some parts, while other parts are soft and chewy. Some people even enjoy chewing on the rind as a snack!

The History Of Rind On Bacon

The history of rind on bacon can be traced back to ancient times when people would preserve meat by rubbing salt onto it and hanging it to dry. The pork skin was left on the meat to protect it from insects and other pests. Over time, people discovered that the pork skin added an extra layer of flavor to the meat, and rind on bacon became a popular delicacy.

In the United States, rind on bacon was a common sight in butcher shops and grocery stores until the mid-20th century. However, as consumer preferences shifted towards leaner cuts of meat, the demand for rindless bacon increased. Today, rind on bacon is less common in supermarkets, but it can still be found in specialty shops and online retailers.

Despite its decline in popularity, rind on bacon remains a beloved tradition in many cultures around the world. In Italy, for example, guanciale (cured pork jowl with the skin still attached) is a key ingredient in many traditional dishes like carbonara and amatriciana.

How To Cook And Prepare Rind On Bacon

Cooking rind on bacon is a bit different than cooking regular bacon. Here are a few methods to try:

1. Pan-Fry: Simply slice the bacon with rind into 1/4″ strips and pan-fry over medium heat. Keep the bacon on the heat until the fat has become juicy and the meat has taken on its flavor. The rind will curl and cook, making some parts crispy and crunchy while other parts are soft and chewy.

2. Oven-Bake: Preheat your oven to 375°F and line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the bacon slices on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer side-by-side, without allowing them to overlap. Transfer baking sheet to the oven and cook for approximately 15 minutes, or until bacon slices are cooked to your desired doneness.

3. Microwave: Arrange your raw rinds on a microwave proof dish, making sure they don’t touch each other. Cook on high for about three and a half minutes, turning them a couple of times during cooking. Don’t put a lid on the dish, as steam will prevent your snacks from getting really crackly.

No matter which method you choose, make sure to keep an eye on the bacon as it cooks, as cooking times may vary depending on the thickness of the bacon slices. Once cooked, remove the bacon from heat and place it on a paper towel to drain any excess grease before serving.

Health Benefits Of Rind On Bacon

Aside from the added flavor and texture, there are health benefits to keeping the rind on bacon. The fats in bacon are about 50% monounsaturated, and a large portion of those are oleic acid, the same fatty acid found in olive oil that is considered “heart-healthy”. The rind itself also contains fat, which creates cushions between the meat and keeps its shape while pan-fried. When cooked, the fat in the rind becomes juicy and infuses the meat with its flavor.

Furthermore, studies have shown that dietary cholesterol has minor effects on cholesterol levels in the blood. While bacon does contain cholesterol, it is not as harmful as previously believed. The high saturated fat content of bacon has been a topic of controversy among health professionals, with some believing that it is a major cause of heart disease. However, studies have failed to reveal any consistent links between saturated fat intake and heart disease.

Where To Find The Best Quality Rind On Bacon

If you’re looking for the best quality rind on bacon, it’s important to find a local butcher who can provide a personalized cut of the meat. While it may be difficult to find rind on bacon in regular supermarkets, a local butcher can offer sustainably sourced and minimally processed meat.

When purchasing from a local butcher, you can also ensure that the bacon is fresh and has not been sitting in a warehouse for an extended period of time. Additionally, buying from a local source supports small businesses and helps to strengthen the local economy.

While rind on bacon may be slightly more expensive than regular bacon, the added flavor and texture make it worth the investment. Plus, you can feel good about supporting local businesses and consuming a product that is free from preservatives and other chemicals.

Delicious Recipes Using Rind On Bacon

If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on some rind on bacon, there are many delicious recipes you can try out. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin: This recipe takes advantage of the crispy texture of the bacon rind to create a crunchy crust on the pork tenderloin. Simply wrap the bacon around the tenderloin and bake until crispy.

2. Bacon and bean soup: The smoky flavor of the bacon rind adds depth to this classic soup recipe. Toss the rind in with the beans and let it simmer away for a rich, flavorful soup.

3. Garlic and bacon bean stew: Similar to the soup recipe, this stew uses the bacon rind for added flavor. The garlic and bacon pair perfectly with the beans for a hearty and satisfying meal.

4. Bacon fat-fried eggs: Use the leftover bacon fat from your rind on bacon to fry up some eggs. The fat adds a delicious smoky flavor to the eggs and creates a crispy exterior.

5. Bacon and Parmesan bean soup: This easy recipe combines bacon, garlic, Parmesan, and beans for a simple yet flavorful soup. The Parmesan rind adds an extra layer of umami flavor to the dish.

6. Bacon-wrapped asparagus: For a simple side dish, wrap asparagus spears in rind on bacon and bake until crispy. The combination of flavors is sure to be a hit.

These are just a few ideas for using rind on bacon in your cooking. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things – you never know what delicious dishes you might discover!